Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) Pray for a Persecuted Church
 Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA)Pray for a Persecuted Church

Latest News

Bail for students accused of instigating Indian riots.

June 16 UCA News

Delhi High Court reprimands police for 'casually' invoking provisions of anti-terror laws against student activists
Delhi High Court has granted bail to three student activists who were jailed for allegedly instigating riots in February 2020 amid a protest against India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The violence that started on Feb. 23 in several areas of northeast Delhi left 53 people dead and over 200 injured in the deadliest violence in the capital in more than three decades.
While granting bail to the students on June 15, the court reprimanded Delhi police for “casually” invoking provisions of anti-terror laws against protesters.
“Finally, our courts seem to have woken up to the fact that the people in administration whose job is to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens are in fact indulging in acts of suppression against citizens’ right to dissent by framing charges under special laws that are meant for hardcore....

‘Journalists targeted,” says Editors Guild.

June 15 Matters India

Journalists and cartoonists are being targeted in India, contrary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s global stance on free speech and fostering democratic values in cyberspace, the Editors Guild of India said June 14.
The government itself heaps pressure on these professionals if and when their views are critical of the establishment, the journalists’ body said.
“Journalists and cartoonists critical of the government are being targeted on social media, as pressures are being mounted by the government on these platforms to remove such critical journalists on the specious ground that they are violating the law of the land,” the Editors Guild said.
“All of this is contrary to the commitments that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made at the G7 Summit to democracy, openness, and against authoritarianism,” it said in a press statement.
The media release expressed shock at the Uttar Pradesh Police’s “cavalier” treatment of the mysterious death ...

Christian families forced to flee homes into forest after women attacked by Hindu villagers.  

June 14 Christian Post

Ten Christian families in the east Indian state of Odisha have been living in a forest for weeks after their houses were destroyed by villagers in retaliation for filing a police complaint against a group of Hindu men who allegedly sexually harassed two Christian women as they drew water from a public well.
The families have been living in fear and without light, water or a change of clothes in a forest near the Sikapai village in Rayagada district’s Kalyansingpur block since mid-May, according to the United Kingdom-based nonprofit Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Tensions began on May 15 when two women went to a nearby tube well to fetch water to prepare food, CSW reported. A few Hindu villagers reportedly approached the women, tore their clothes, touched them inappropriately and told them that Christians could not use that well.
The villagers also damaged the tube at the well so that the women wouldn’t be able...

Latest News

Indian state's new law aims to end Christians' educational rights.

June 11 UCA News

Christian and other religious minorities in western India's Gujarat state are upset about a new state law which they say curtails their right to manage their educational institutions. Religious minorities jointly moved the state's High Court on June 7 seeking to quash the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (Amendment) Act, 2021, which came into effect on June 1. “The new law has practically withdrawn the rights of all religious minorities guaranteed in the constitution to establish and manage educational institutions,” said Father Teles Fernandes, secretary of Gujarat Education Board of Catholic Institutions. Until now church-run educational institutions enjoyed the right to appoint non-teaching and teaching staff including the principal. They also framed rules and regulations...

Radicals attack, ostracize Christians in Odisha

June 9 Matters India

An alleged group of Hindu extremists have chased away Christians from a village in Odisha after destroying their houses.
The incident occurred on June 8 at Sikapai village in Rayagada district. The village has some 40 families, including 8 Christian. Upajukta Singh, the village pastor, said the attackers came from Sikarpai, another village. “They could not tolerate the presence of eight families of Sikarpai practicing Christian faith,” the pastor said. According to Singh, the radicals destroyed the houses of Christians and drove them out from their native village. The 60-year-old pastor said the attackers humiliated some Christian women when they went to fetch water from a well, 1 km away. The miscreants broke the bore well and the women had to return home with empty pots and in fear, the pastor said...

Indian court extends jailed Jesuit's hospitalization

June 8 UCA News

Bombay High Court has extended the hospitalization of jailed Jesuit activist Father Stan Swamy amid reports that the 84-year-old priest's health has improved. Father Swamy, currently undergoing treatment in a Catholic hospital in Mumbai, has improved following the order from the same court. The top court in western India on June 10 extended his hospital stay for four more days until June 18, when it is scheduled to hear the priest’s bail plea on grounds of his poor health. The court also directed Holy Family Hospital to submit his health report on June 17. Father Swamy was moved to the Catholic hospital on May 28 after his health deteriorated inside Taloja Central Prison, where he was unable to even walk or eat his food. The elderly and sick priest was arrested on Oct. 8 last year...

Latest News

Christian persecution peaks amid impunity in pandemic-era India.

June 3 UCA News

The absolute sense of impunity generated in the administrative apparatus of India by the pandemic lockdowns, and the consequent absence of civil society on the streets and in the courts, has aggravated targeted hate and violence against Christians by non-state actors in major states and the National Capital territory, as seen in the 327 or so cases recorded up to December 2020.The Evangelical Federation of India’s Religious Liberty Commission and other Christian agencies, including a national helpline co-founded by the ecumenical United Christian Forum five years ago, recorded the murders of at least five people. Six churches were burned or demolished, while in 26 cases Christian communities faced social exclusion. This is by no means an exhaustive list of incidents. The near-collapse of the media, and the inability of activists to investigate cases in distant villages because of...

Pastor Seriously Wounded, Father Killed in Northern India.

June 3 Morningstar News 

Relatives of a pastor in northern India killed his Christian father with axe and sword blows and seriously wounded the church leader and his brother for leaving tribal religion, sources said. While local media and police portrayed the May 18 attack in Rajasthan state as a dispute over land, Pastor Ramesh Bumbariya said his step-uncles and cousins assaulted his family for their faith because they left animistic tribal religion for Christianity in 2007. “My cousins and their families insist that we abandon our Christian faith and follow the ancestral faith,” Pastor Bumbariya told Morning Star News. “When we refused and remained firm in our Christian beliefs, they began to create trouble for us by raising land issues.” When a group of relatives including men, women and children attacked his home in Thep village, Khajooria, Kotra, Udaipur District, armed with guns, axe, swords and wooden clubs...

 

Fake Sonia Gandhi picture fuels anti-Christian hatred over conversions.

June 7 Asia News

A picture showing Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi with a book titled "How to convert India into a Christian nation" has caused a stir on social media. The fake picture was posted on twitter by an account called "No Conversion", which has over 200,000 followers. The tweet, which has since been deleted, is part of the latest anti-Christian campaign by Hindu nationalist groups. In the picture, Ms Gandhi stands in front of a bookshelf that contains the offending book, a Bible and a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The tweet’s caption reads “‘Who reads all these books?” In another tweet, the user accuses the Congress Party of “rampant conversion appeasement, and brainwashing of young generation”. While the fake picture was circulating on social media, its original source was identified. It is actually a screenshot from a YouTube video that was published by...

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Christian doctor faces criminal charges in India for saying 'Jesus heals'.

May 31 Christian Post

A young Christian doctor in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh has been suspended from a government program to help combat the deadly second wave of COVID-19 and is facing criminal charges for telling families to pray to Jesus if they get infected with the virus.
Dr. Sandhya Tiwari was suspended from the Madhya Pradesh state’s “Kill Corona” program and is facing criminal charges, possibly under the state’s anti-conversion law, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern reported.
As part of the program, the doctor visited homes in the Bajna area of Ratlam District on May 22 and distributed Christian leaflets along with a recommended diet chart. She also encouraged families to pray to Jesus for healing.
Activists from India’s chief Hindu nationalist umbrella organization, the Rashtriya....

Hindu 'fundamentalists' attack church in India. 

May 28 UCA News

Police in the eastern Indian state of Odisha have filled a first information report after a Hindu group attacked an under-construction church.
The Protestant church in Badaguda village in Koraput district was attacked by more than 150 Hindu “fundamentalists” on May 16, according to Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians.
“As of now, the police are investigating the case and no arrest has been made, but we have full faith in the judiciary and believe that the case will soon be solved,” he said.
“There are 12 tribal Christian families belonging to the Lutheran church and the village has some 60 Hindu families.
“In spite of the challenging situation existing in our country due to the severe attack of Covid-19, goons continue to rule the roost in Koraput district. Even in July last year, an attack on eight Christians....

Yoga guru says COVID-19 is a Christian plot.

May 28 Asian News

In the country most affected by the pandemic today, the top aid of popular yoga guru claimed on twitter that  COVID-19 is “a conspiracy to convert the entire country to Christianity and turn them against yoga and Ayurveda.”
The charge comes from Acharya Balkrishna, chairman of Patanjali, a large company that makes Ayurvedic products, who is also an associate of the hugely popular TV yoga guru Ramdev.
Thanks to the latter’s popularity, Patanjali has become big business. Balkrishna’s net worth is estimated to be around US$ 2.3 billion according to Forbes magazine.
For days, Ramdev's entourage and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have been at loggerheads over the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicines against the coronavirus, which has not yet been established by any tests.
For Ramdev, COVID-19 “allopathy (convent ..."

Latest News

VIDEO REPORT: Is the Modi government in India Trying to Silence India’s Social Media Users illegally Outside of Any Legal Framework?

May 26 UCA News

Police in India are investigating Twitter after the social media giant tagged a post by a ruling party spokesman as “manipulated media.” Last month the government asked Twitter to take down some 50 tweets critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of the pandemic. And it recently ordered all social media companies to remove references to the term “Indian variant” when describing the B 1617 coronavirus variant prevalent in India. The government said the term was false and amounted to social media misinformation. DW News reports in this YouTube video....

Pastor Contracts COVID-19 after Assault in Eastern India.

May 26 Morningstar News

A pastor in eastern India contracted COVID-19 while seeking treatment at hospitals where personnel were reluctant to admit him for injuries sustained in a Hindu extremist assault last month, sources said.
Pastor Ramnivas Kumar suffered a hairline fracture of his shoulder and internal injuries in the April 22 assault in Pritamadi village, Ranjitpur Shivanagar in Sitamarhi District, Bihar state on him and his wife, Pinky Kumari, which left her unconscious. The Hindu villagers also assaulted the pastor’s uncle, Nagendra Thakur, who along with Kumari sustained head and internal injuries, along with bruising.
The day of the aattack, government hospital personnel initially delayed treating Pastor Kumar, saying they had to wait for police to arrive since it was an assault case.
“We waited for the police to arrive for a long time,” area Christian leader Solomon Ghosh told Morning Star News...'

Catholic Church in India Reports that Covid has already killed 168 of its priests and 143 nuns So Far. 

May 23 Asia News

In India, the pandemic has so far killed 168 priests and 143 nuns. The figure is provided by Father Suresh Mathew, Capuchin friar and editor-in-chief of the Indian Currents magazine. He is keeping the count of the victims of the clergy and religious which continue to grow because the number of deaths in the country remains high: even today the Indian government speaks of 4,209 victims of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours; the country is now very close to the threshold of 300,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
In this general framework, Fr. Mathew tells AsiaNews about his investigation: “During the first wave, we kept reading details of priests who lost their lives in to the Covid 19, however, during the second wave especially after Easter, every day we received news of priests dying of the Corona virus. Being a Missionary priest, I wanted to know the...

Latest News

Radical Hindu mob wielding swords kills father of Christian pastor in attack on family.

May 23 ChristianPost

While India is going through a deadly second wave of COVID-19, the persecution of Christians carries on. Radical Hindu nationalists shot dead a 52-year-old Christian man, who was the father of a pastor, and wielded swords and sickles to attack other family members, according to a report.
About 15 Hindu nationalist men attacked the family of Pastor Ramesh Bumbariya at his home in the Bansawra District in the northwestern state of Rajasthan on Tuesday, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported, saying the family was attacked because they refused to renounce their Christian faith.
A man in the mob pointed a gun at the pastor to shoot him but it failed to fire. The man then pointed the gun at the pastor’s father, identified as Bhima Bumbariya, and shot the 52-year-old Christian.
After his father ...

Father Swamy refuses hospital: 'I can die in prison'.

May 22 Asia News

Father Stan Swamy refuses hospitalization and invokes the right to release on  bail.  The 84-year-old Indian Jesuit detained in Taloja prison since last October on charges of terrorism for his commitment to the tribal populations, yesterday appeared in person in videoconference in front of the Mumbai High Court convened to assess his health condition.
In recent days - after the denunciation by his family and brother jesuits about the worsening of his physical condition already undermined by Parkinson's disease - Father Swamy had been taken to JJ Hospital, a public hospital in Mumbai, to be examined.  The cough and fever reported by the religious in a telephone interview, had led to fear of his having contracted  Covid-19, as has already happened to other inmates in the Taloja prison.
The High Court would have consented to his admission to the hospital but - during a ...

U.S.-based Christian organization welcomes India extending validity of foreign contribution registration.  

May 20 News IndiaTimes

The Federation of Indian American Christian Associations of North America (FIACONA), an advocacy organization with the goal of  defending the religious freedom of Christian religious minorities in India, welcomed New Delhi’s decision to extend the validity of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) certification to charitable organizations until September 30 2021.  It expired on September 29, 2020.
Another order issued by the government May 20, 2021,  extends the deadline for mandatory opening of a new bank account by these NGOs at a particular branch of the State Bank of India in Delhi, from March 31 2021 to June 30, 2021.
“FIACONA recognizes that these are welcome changes. These measures will help several NGOs to continue their much-needed service during this pandemic at least for one more month,” the organization ...

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